Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

MA Scottish Ethnology and Celtic

UCAS code: VQ95

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Scottish Ethnology and Celtic

Uncover Scotland’s past and help shape its future. This programme offers you the opportunity to study the languages, literatures and cultures of Scotland alongside the wider Celtic world, past and present.

Ethnology is the discipline which studies the culture and traditions of developed societies, and is sometimes described as being at the intersection where history and anthropology meet. While commonly offered in universities across Europe, this is the only full undergraduate programme of its kind available within the UK.

Focusing on Scotland, but introducing comparative material from elsewhere, you will study the varying ways in which a modern European nation expresses itself culturally, through such forms as its customs, beliefs, social organisation, language, music and song.

How do these help to create and shape identity in the modern world? How do we use and make sense of the past from within our present, and how can this understanding help us to shape our future?

Working with a range of rich materials, from traditional archives to modern media and digital data, you will develop the practical and intellectual tools to help navigate and indeed influence contemporary culture and society in an increasingly globalised world.

The programme also provides you with an understanding of Scottish Gaelic and its cultural environment through the study of language, literature, history and culture. Language acquisition, including oral and aural instruction, plays an important role in allowing you to have a deeper understanding of Scottish Gaelic literature and culture through direct engagement with primary sources as well as with theoretical concepts.

The programme enables you to have a subject expertise in Celtic studies with the option courses allowing those interested to expand their knowledge to that of other Celtic languages.

Year 1

You will study Scottish cultural history, heritage, cultural expression and representation. Courses also look at literature, music and visual arts and how these are linked to Scottish identity.

If you are already qualified in Scottish Gaelic, you will study Gaelic 1B, focusing on Scottish Gaelic language and literature. If you are a beginner you will study Gaelic 1A, concentrating on language learning. Introduction to Gaelic Language & Culture includes basic language-learning opportunities.

Celtic Civilisation 1A and 1B provide overviews of the social and cultural history of the Celtic peoples from late antiquity to the present day, including language, literature, religion and art.

In addition, you will also choose from a wide range of option courses.

Year 2

You will study oral and visual representations of Scotland through music, song, art, photography and film and you will receive practical training in ethnographic fieldwork techniques and ethics.

The Year 2 Gaelic language courses expand and develop your familiarity with Scottish Gaelic language and literature.

Two Celtic literature courses enable you to explore medieval, early modern and modern literature in translation, covering the Irish, Welsh, and Scottish Gaelic literary traditions. The Celtic literature courses lead on to the medieval curriculum at honours level, while Gaelic 2A or 2B lead to both the medieval and modern curriculum.

As in Year 1, you will have a choice from a wide range of option courses.

Year 3

In Year 3, you will choose from a range of specialist courses in both Scottish Ethnology and Celtic.

Year 4

In Year 4, you will choose further specialist courses and will complete your dissertation.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2019/20)

Our facilities

Most of the teaching will take place at facilities located within the University's Central Area.

You will have access to the University's research, study and library facilities, specialist collections, including the School of Scottish Studies Archives, a unique and extensive collection of audio and visual material relating to the culture and tradition of Scotland, and the Archive’s extensive library holdings, including important Scottish ethnological, wider ethnological, and Celtic holdings.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study abroad in Year 3 through the Erasmus+ programme or the University's international exchange programme.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and small group tutorials. Extensive use is also made of audio and visual resources, as well as readily accessible online materials.

In our language teaching, there is an emphasis on interaction and developing fluency, and on building the strong linguistic competencies required for a range of careers.

Great care is taken in providing a welcoming learning environment with regular face-to-face access to tutors, lecturers and support staff.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through coursework and exams. In Years 3 and 4 you will complete a dissertation and regular presentations, as well as a range of innovative assessment forms such as 'audio essays' in the manner of a radio broadcast.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2019/20)

Thanks to an ever-broadening international reach, Celtic languages, literatures and cultures have a steady stream of enthusiastic new speakers and audiences.

In Scotland particularly, developments such as the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, the creation of BBC Alba (the Gaelic digital television service), and the ongoing expansion of Gaelic-medium education have increased demand for highly-educated Gaelic speakers or specialists in Celtic culture.

Employment prospects are particularly high within education, journalism and the media, broadcasting (both radio and television), politics and policy development, and the arts, cultural and tourism sectors. In some areas, there are more Gaelic-related jobs than there are people qualified to fill them.

Additionally, Scottish Ethnology graduates are highly valued in the workplace for the skills they have gained in research, analysis, communication and presentation, as well as their strong understanding of culture and society.

There are also opportunities to continue studying at postgraduate level, with the honours years in particular developing the research skills you’ll need if you choose this path.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AABB by end of S5. If you haven't achieved this by the end of S5 we may consider your application based on a strong performance in S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6. (Revised 21/06/2019 from 'ABBB'.)
  • A Levels: AAB - ABB. (Revised 21/06/2019 from 'ABB'.)
  • IB: 36 points (grades 665 at HL) - 34 points (grades 655 at HL). (Revised 21/06/2019 from '34 (655 at HL)'.)

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Higher: Gaelic or a language other than English at grade B preferred. National 5: English at grade C and a language other than English at grade B (if not at Higher).
  • A Levels: preferably a language other than English at grade B. GCSEs: English at grade C or 4 and a language other than English at grade B or 6 (if not at A Level).
  • IB: HL: preferably including a language other than English at grade 5. SL: English at grade 5 and a language other than English at grade 5 (if not at HL).

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

SQA, GCSE and IB

For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C

  • SQA Standard Grade 3

  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A

  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C

  • GCSE Grade C or 4

  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C

  • IB Standard Level Grade 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component

  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section

  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component

  • PTE Academic: Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

(Revised 05/06/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Unistats data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Scottish Ethnology and Celtic

Additional costs

Your dissertation may involve some fieldwork, depending on your topic of study, and this may incur travel costs. However, if you prefer, you can select an archive-or library-based project that is unlikely to have any additional costs.

There may be additional costs if you choose to study abroad in Year 3.

Funding

For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding